22 Aug 2011

August is National Water Quality Month!

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As ironic as it may seem in a month where up to 78 percent of the state faces exceptional drought, National Water Quality Month is upon us. And just as it makes sense to know how your plumbing systems work, what can go wrong with them and how to keep them running, it makes sense to know what you’re drinking, cooking with, washing clothes with and bathing in. Here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling:

What are you drinking? Municipal tap water may not always taste fabulous, but it usually conforms to some pretty strict federal requirements. The EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act sets the quality standards that each community must provide for its water consumers and requires each community to report any known water problems. Even so, however, violations can occur, and traces of bacteria, industrial chemicals and heavy metals can occasionally find their way into your tap. You can protect yourself by drinking from a filtered pitcher or installing a filtration system on your faucet. You might also want to have your water tested for lead levels, especially if you have kids.

Hard or soft? Does your hair feel stiff after a shower? Do you clothes come out of the washer looking dull? If so, blame hard water. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium that not only leaves a nasty residue on clothes and bodies, but it also builds up inside pipes to block the normal flow of water — a problem known as limescale. What can you do? You can run your water through a water oftener or reverse osmosis system to get that gunk out of your drinking, cooking and bath water. You can also use a descaler to combat the buildup of limescale.

Have a happy and healthy National Water Quality Month!